Learning at Midlife for the Enjoyment of It

by on March 15, 2011

Learning at Midlife for the Enjoyment of It

For the second time in three years I have gone “back to school”.  While I’m not enrolled in a degree granting program, I’m being trained in becoming knowledgeable of the skills in developing an effective job and career search strategy.  One of my goals is to be able to share what I am in the process of learning with my readers and clients in the coming months.  A second goal is to be able to share with my clients a proven and researched based set of techniques in the employment and career search arena.  The more I read articles, check blog posts or participate in conversations on the social media discussion groups it is very obvious that for those at midlife, staying employed at this point of their life is a predominant issue in today’s economy.  I want to be properly trained to both support that community and guide them through the realities of how to make themselves attractive to employers in today’s job market.

I find I enjoy opportunities to increase my knowledge far more at this stage of my life than I did when I was a student in high school and college.  When I was younger, I was often more grade focused than on learning material for the sake of gaining increased knowledge.  There was always the fear that if my grades weren’t good enough I would be doomed in achieving the next level of success in my life.  Studying material was often focused in terms of “passing the test” as opposed to learning life skills.

In my recent scholastic ventures, (coach certification studying, various seminars and teleclasses, etc.) and with this current set of material, I find myself more relaxed in absorbing the material.  In turn, since so much of it is focused on how we live, work, play and go about our business in the world around us, I more often see myself commenting on how a concept I see being played out in everyday life aligns to what I have recently learned.  Additionally, I find myself more of a student of life and in turn observing and absorbing what is going on around me.  On balance I am a far calmer and introspective individual than I was five years ago.   I look forward to continue to find new things to learn.   Learning has become fun again for me at this point of my life, as opposed to being a challenge to get the best grade possible on the inevitable test at the end of the semester.

Midlife is a perfect time to get reacquainted with that side of you that is a student.  Time demands from career or job pressures many times lessen, particularly if one has moved on from their first career.  Children are often of an age where they don’t need as much attention since they have either already left home for college or have started their own employment ventures.  Additionally as one continues to do more living, they tend to get a sense of what they deem important for them on which they choose to focus and which items they prefer on which not to devote their energies.

If there is a topic out there you would like to learn more about, go for it.   Perhaps in learning it, it will provide you a skill set that you can use in a productive second career activity.  Or, you may find that your learning will allow you to pursue a hobby or passion you always desired but for which you never had the time to devote.  Realize there are so many ways in which you can learn, (Internet courses, adult school, in person travel, enrolling for a university class, etc.), that it is in your hands to find the opportunities that work best for you.  The point is, as you enter this time of your life, there is no better time to focus on learning something which catches your interest.  Most of all enjoy what you are studying for the joy of learning it and not for the “ultimate test score” you will achieve by mastering it.

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